Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 163
Fowles has said that he intended to produce a realistic version of The Magus in The Ebony Tower, and in essence, the novella is exactly that: a condensed examination of the same themes without the mystical overlay of the earlier novel. Coming at the first peak of his critical and popular acclaim, The Ebony Tower was a significant success and a summary of his concerns up to this point; it makes accessible the often elusive ideas in his earlier works while anticipating several yet to come, such as the function of the muse, explored in depth in Mantissa (1982).
The novella reinforces Fowles’s beliefs about the necessary demands of freedom and the responsibilities of choice in a world governed by hazard, or contingency-outlined in his philosophical work, The Aristos: A Self-Portrait in Ideas (1964)-and it furthers his experimentation in narrative technique and his explorations into the failure of linguistic systems. Philosophically, it is a masterful variation on Fowles’s personal version of existentialism.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support